Last month, I read Winning The Food Fight by Pastor Steve Willis, and I am so thankful for its content.
I am an Emergency Room physician at a local hospital in Huntington, WV. Our hospital is touted for its excellent care in heart disease and strokes. The truth is that our hospital is the busiest in the state of WV. We excel in heart/stroke care because we see it EVERY DAY.
Steve's book has come at a very needed time. Churches and pastors often spend time condemning certain vices in the community, but largely ignore that of gluttony. Instead, some boast about the restaurant buffet lunch that follows a Sunday morning service. Rather than treating our body as a temple of God, we ignore it and abuse it by filling it with literal garbage.
In health care, I occasionally hear those who report, "I don't know what happened. My body fell apart when I hit 50." The truth is our bodies don't just fall apart. Instead, it happens over time. If we don't care for our bodies on a daily basis, we are only asking for an eventual collapse.
I have been personally encouraged to change my own habits of eating and physical activity. One would think that a physician would be the most attentive to his personal wellness, but this is not typically the case. We are often some of the worst offenders, as we fail to practice what we preach. I have been challenged to treat my body as the temple God has created it to be. I am excited to use each day to serve my Savior and I do not want to lessen my potential contributions to the Kingdom. Thank you Steve for your excellent book.
Winning the Food Fight is a well argued and reasoned book on the importance of considering the kinds of food that we take into our bodies. Not only does this book enlighten the reader on the traps of hazardous food consumption, it also challenges the reader to get involved in winning the U.S.'s (and Christian) apathy toward food consumption.
One factor I found helpful is that Willis addresses many of the spiritual and theological issues revolving around the eating of food. The Bible never stipulates which foods (note: not food-like substances) Christians ought to eat, but, rather, it gives freedom in our food choices (Rom 14:6, 14; 1 Tim 4:3-5). Nevertheless, the Bible does discuss such things as gluttony, hedonism, how we should treat our bodies, fasting, and the importance of avoiding things that alter our minds. Willis address all of these and more. In a consumer based culture, we often eat way too much, and as expressed by pastor Willis' friends from Zambia, every day is a feast. We do not eat simply to maintain our health and energy; we eat solely for pleasure. I personally found the chapter on fasting both enlightening and much needed.
As noted by Willis throughout the book, God has given us naturally the necessary foods, via His good creation, in order live a healthy life. Yet, because of complacency, the need for instant gratification, and immediacy, we've gotten away from the good food that God has given us, and, instead, settled for food-like substances (e.g., soda, processed food). These food-like substances, along with the excessive intake of fats and sugars, change our body chemistry over time, altering our moods and abilities to function as we were intended. We also become dependent on them. Like Michael Pollan, Willis, in a nutshell, argues that we need to eat less, eat real food (not food-like substances), and eat mostly vegetables.
Pastor Steve Willis has written a much needed book on a topic that many Christians give far too little attention. After all, our bodies, along with all that God has created, belong under the Lordship of Christ. Not only should we take every thought captive unto the Lord, but the kinds of food that we eat, as well. I highly recommend this book.
The entwining of the practical and physical (food and our lifestyle choices) and the spiritual (our attitude toward God and our reliance on Him) make this one of the best "get healthy" books I have read. It always seems that faith-filled books forget the human side of the equation, that we are people with temptations, who have been taught how to eat incorrectly, who have formed bad habits. And food/health books disregard our spiritual selves. How nice to find authors who recognize the importance of balancing both. I love the anecdotes and the practical advice. It's just icing on the cake that the book is so well written--great advice, presented extremely well. I highly recommend this book!
When I received this book I was disapointed to see that there were only three receipes at the end of the book. I tried all of the receipes, and they were fantastic, but I just wish that there would have been a few more meal plans in the book.
Overall, I thought that the book was entertaining, very insightful and very inspiritional regarding how we are abusing our bodies, and feeding ourselvs food which God did not intend for us to eat. It made me realize that I was doing the same thing that the people in West Virginia we doing.
I want to thank Pastor Steve Willis for bringing to light a problem that I never realized I had.
Very few pastors today preach a balanced lifestyle that is reflective of Christ's life as He manifests the character of the Father. Pastor Willis is one of these few. In reading this book, my eyes have been opened to the one problem-sin that has the greatest reach and the least resistance...glutony and overeating. Pastor Willis has done an excellent job addressing this elephant in the room and the biblically-charged remedies that will change Christians' lives for the better. Local church pastors and members NEED to read this book and reflect on how employ its wisdom.